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Shiner fans stunned by championship defeat (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
Dec. 19, 2013 at 6:19 a.m.
Updated Dec. 20, 2013 at 6:20 a.m.

Brian Kloesel (49) reacts at the end of the Shiner Comanches v. Stamford Bulldogs State Championship Game in Arlington. Comanches lost 28-41.

ARLINGTON - August Darilek stayed up Wednesday night before boarding the Shiner Comanches fan bus at 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

"We didn't want to risk missing it," Darilek, 71, said.

Three fan buses left the town of 2,069 residents before dawn to catch their hometown team at the UIL Class 1A, Division I state championship game.

"I hope we can pull off a win," said Darilek, a former Comanche. "My son was in the 1986 state championship game."

Cowbells rang in the background of AT&T Stadium.

Shirley Schoenfeld stood across the aisle eyeing her granddaughter Hailey Tucker, 17, as she cheered on the team from the field.

"It's going to be a wonderful game," Schoenfeld, 60, said. "We have a very nice turn out here."

Shiner was up against Stamford High School, which is from a town of 3,124.

A total of 7,614 Stamford Bulldog and Shiner Comanche fans were in attendance.

Julie Gamez, who helped organize the charter bus travel for Shiner fans, said they sold 168 bus tickets and filled three 56-passenger buses.

"Defense ... defense," Gamez shouted during the third quarter of the game.

Her husband, Mario Gamez, kept a careful eye on the ticker.

"They gotta keep running the clock," he said.

A few people down, Lisa Stafford looked anxiously out onto the field.

Her son, Jacob Stafford, started the season as the team's middle linebacker and running back and was ending it as the team's quarterback.

"It is awesome," said Lisa Stafford, holding up a glittering, gold-lettered poster during the third quarter. "We want to bring it home."

Up the aisle, Haley Patek jumped and up down cheering on her older brother, Tyler Patek.

Tyler Patek intercepted a play by Stamford during the second quarter of the game.

"I'm so proud of him," Haley, 8, said.

Carter Kuykendall, a Fort Worth resident and former Comanche, cheered on his relative, Marcus Coleman, with other family members surrounding him.

"He's looking good out there today, looking wonderful" Carter Kuykendall, 59, said.

Spirits were running high until the middle of the fourth quarter when Stamford started to take the lead.

A deflated sense of hope and silence took hold of the purple and gold crowd.

"I have no words," Stafford said.

Agnes Coleman's eyes welled up with tears.

Agnes Coleman, Marcus' mother, said she's proud of her of son regardless of the team's loss.

His father, Gregory Coleman, 57, echoed his wife's sentiments.

"He became a man today out there on the field," the father said. "It's devastating, but they played a real good game."

Marcus, who was born premature and blind, was never expected to run by his doctors, his mother said.

"He's always told himself to never give up," his mom said while descending the stairs of the stadium. "And he didn't."

Related story:

Changes help lead Shiner to state title game



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